Mary Jane Falls - 08/12/19 Trip Notes

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This page last updated on 08/14/2019
(Fig. 01)

(Fig. 02)
Description of Area: Because it climbs almost 1,100 feet in 1.6 miles, Mary Jane Falls Trail is a fairly strenuous. The trail starts in the bottom of Kyle Canyon, which at this point is deep, heavily forested, and surrounded by beautiful gray limestone cliffs. The view in (Fig. 01) was taken looking west from the parking lot. In the first 0.7 miles, the trail climbs 450 feet, then turns right into a side canyon and climbs another 650 feet to the falls in the remaining 0.9 mile. A cave beyond the falls adds interest to the hike and a good overview of the area.
Note: In 2011, the trail was heavily damaged by irresponsible hikers cutting many of the switchbacks and thereby making the actual trail difficult to follow and often dangerous in places. The trail crew fixed many of the switchbacks, but people continue to cut the switchbacks adding to the problem of trying to maintain a safe trail. People should stay on trail to protect it and the environment.
08/12/2019 Trip Notes: On this date four of us attempted this hike; Bob Croke, Jim Herring, Ron Ziance and myself. Bob and I have it before, but it was a new experience for Jim and Ron. Along the way we found some rocks that contained some fossils (Fig 03). From the trailhead (Fig. 02), the clearly marked trail runs northwest up Kyle Canyon on an old road for 0.72 miles. Along here, the trail passes through a forest of ponderosa pine, white fir, rocky mountain maple, quaking aspens, and mountain mahogany. The understory is open with a few wax currents, composite shrubs, grasses, thistles, and a few other forbs. As you continue to climb this trail there are great views the summit of the surrounding grey limestone cliffs and Charleston Peak, elevation 11,916 feet, and is the highest mountain in both the Spring Mountains and Clark County, in Nevada (Fig. 04). If you look careful you can still see some small patches of snow, even though it is the middle of August with the last month of 100 degree temperatures Fig. 05). About 3/4 of the way up you could see the cave that is located at the top, off to the left of the falls (Fig. 06). Unfortunately, at about the eighth switchback, Ron had a severe attack of vertigo, and couldn't safely go any further. He sat on a rock in the shade and waited for the rest of us to finish the hike and come back to him. In spite of my own balance problems, I decided to continue on. The picture in (Fig. 07) is a shot of Ron and Jim sitting on a fallen log taking one of the dozens of rest breaks we all took on our hike up of this strenuous trail.   (Notes continued below)

(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)

Trip Notes Continued: After the last of the switchbacks, the trails continues along the base of a huge cliff. Eventually there are some stone steps, but parts of the trail along here are heavily damaged, so one has to be careful. Some of the stone stairs are loose (Fig. 08). Once we reached the falls, it was good to see a fair amount of water coming over the cliffs (Figs. 09 & 10). Off to the left of the main falls, there is a second smaller falls (Fig. 11). Far overhead, springs produce water that cascades over the cliffs and down the falls. We decided not to hike to the cave, as Ron was waiting for our return. We sat around the area snacking and drinking plenty of water, resting up for the 1.6 mile back (Fig. 12). Here is one of the very few pictures of a flower near the falls (Fig. 13). When we got to Ron, he had gathered his composure and we all headed to the bottom. On the way down I slipped and fell on some loose gravel. Other than that we all made it back to the trailhead without injury.

(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)

Note: Every attempt is made to provide accurate information, but occasionally depictions are inaccurate by error of mapping, navigation or cataloging. The information on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied, and is for informational and historical purposes only.

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